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The University of Southampton
PhilosophyPart of Humanities

Will McGuinness BA Philosophy

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Why did you choose to come and study at Southampton?

The modules offered on my course were more diverse than in other places and explored areas of philosophy that I couldn’t study elsewhere. Additionally, as soon as I experienced avenue campus for the first time, it felt like the kind of academic environment that I knew that I could succeed in. It didn’t feel self-important or exclusionary – just a welcoming place designed with the wellbeing and productivity of students at its heart.

The course is, in general, excellent – a standout thing for me was that my department felt like a genuine community. I never felt intimidated by them, and they were integrated into our student life in a way that genuinely enhanced our studies both in and out of lectures.

What have been your Southampton ‘highlights’ (best experiences) so far?

The main highlight for me was being able to feel as if I was a genuine part of a fully-fledged academic community, instead of being something that the lecturers had to deal with as an aside from their research. There was no gatekeeping and no belittling – from the beginning of first year you felt as if you were genuinely a part of the department. 

What did you enjoy most about your course?

Being able to study areas of philosophy beyond the fairly standard and hackneyed curriculum offered at many universities. The department offers modules in areas like Continental philosophy, Classical Indian philosophy, and Islamic philosophy – all of which areas which are essential for a proper understanding of philosophy as a discipline.

What is the city of Southampton like to live in?

Southampton is also an excellent place to live and work – it offers many of the same things that larger cities do, but is not so large a place that you feel overwhelmed. It still manages to have something for almost everyone, whatever your interests. It is well-connected by public transport to the rest of the UK, which counts for a lot. Most interesting for me, and I think something that is lost on many students is how historic the city is, and how much of that history is available to explore today.

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